This past Tuesday evening, after a yummy dinner with my friend CeCe at Candle 79 in the Upper East Side, we ventured over to the Guggenheim to take part in the 24-Hour Program on the Concept of Time. The event promised to offer guest speakers, performances, and of course the museum, open for a full 24-Hour cycle. Arriving at 10:30 P.M. we were both a little bit shocked/disappointed to see the museum darkened and a few lingering guests huddled in the lobby watching of Douglas Gordon’s 24-Hour Psycho back and forth and to and fro. After talking to one of the guards inquiring where “everyone else was”, we learned that the others were all in the theater one level down. Winding down the stairs, I felt my interest and intrigue peak and the crowd slowly revealed itself. Peering through the then closed door, artist Lawrence Weiner sat in discussion with Hans Ulrich Obrist. We got on line and entered as several people started to leave. The theater was still fairly crowded as Columbia University Professor Saskia Sassen took the stage. The common theme for the evening was appropriately Time and Saskia discussed the concept of time itself and how it exists or doesn’t and is perceived both within a global and national scale.
Next up were performers Angela Bulloch and David Grubbs. Who within the twenty minute time frame, played minimal notes (the band featured a guitarist, bassist, drummer and trumpet player. I stared in awe as the trumpet player in particular held his note for so long I wondered about his extreme breath control. Then Whitney curator Shamim Momim sat in an arm chair, furiously knitting as she read from a paper that I assume she wrote (interesting but a bit of a yawn).
Following Shamim, philosopher and professor at the New School, Simon Critchley lectured on the Douglas Gordon/Philippe Parreno film on footballer, Zidane. Simon Critchley was my favorite presenter of the evening. He is extremely intelligent and charismatic completely yet briefly breaking down Zidane as player, hero, puppet and god. What intrigued me about his dialogue was the perception of the portrait of this man. Paraphrased: In reaction to his portrait by artist Velazquez, Pope Innocent X is reported to have declared it was “Troppo vero” or too true. Yet, maybe this is what portraiture is about, (and in the collaboration of Gordon/Parreno) the capture of reality by commodified images. The “truth”is within the means of [Zidane’s] inaccessibility. Inaccessibility = Truth Wow.